We were blown away by last year’s Stems of Hope gala and we called it the best Charity Gala of 2013 (also amazing was Stems of Hope 2012). So this year’s 5th annual Stems of Hope gala helped to continue propelling awareness and funding for this amazing cause in a big way.

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THRIVE, the theme for the evening’s soiree was a celebration of the incredible progress the charity has made since the inaugural gala in 2010. The Kool Haus was accordingly transformed into a lounge in a lush fantasy forest setting.

Hosted by Cheryl Hickey (ET Canada) and Anthony Farnell (Global Toronto) with performances by Toronto’s cover band Dwayne Gretzky, Jesse Labelle and superstar Kardinal Offishall, there was certainly never a dull moment. We checked out the silent auction items and innovative assistive technologies on display as guests sampled tasty offerings from Dave & Busters, Fonda Lola, Oyster Boy, Foodee and more. There was also a sweet tooth station called “Candy Emporium”.

A dynamic live auction ensued with amazing prizes such as backstage passes to the Victoria Secret Fashion Show in London, England.

However, the real highlights of the event were the sincere heartfelt speeches and awards including the speech by Three To Be founder Dana Florence followed by an inspiring speech by the recipients of the gala’s Three To Be Hero Awards, which honors heroic efforts of individuals making a difference in the lives of children with neurological disorders.

One of those heroes honoured Toronto’s Olivia Wise, who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour and passed away last Nov 2013 at the age of 16. Her positive spirit shone through her circumstances in her YouTube video of “Roar” which was acknowledged by Katy Perry.

Honouring Olivia Wise who passed away last Nov 2013 at the age 16.

Honouring Olivia Wise who passed away last Nov 2013 at the age 16.

Congrats to everyone involved at Three To Be for the achievements in the past 5 years and the lives that were changed due to the organization’s efforts raising $2.5 million to date, funding research for children with a broad spectrum of neurological disorders.

For more information visit www.threetobe.org

Photos by Nick Lee

Check out the great video of the event by Signature Gold:

Also check out our photos from Stems of Hope 2012 and Stems of Hope 2013.

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